Puppy Love: Part 7
For The Two The Nines Award
We sat by a river and waited for darkness to fall. I twirled my spoon in my fingers as Lucy rested her head on my shoulder. I grinned to myself, in all the time I had followed her I had never bothered to learn her name. I’m sure she had told me, probably many times before, but to me she had always been my wolf. Now things had changed, the jumble of my mind was less than usual and her name stuck. I felt my smile wilt a little as I tried to remember my name. I had been called dog for so long that my true name escaped me. Lucy had looked at me sadly when I said I couldn’t remember my name. She told me I should pick one, and I tried, but none seemed right.
Lucy sighed as we watched the sun dip below the horizon.
“How are we going to do this?” she asked raising her head to look at me intently. I didn’t yet have an answer, I had always done things instinctually, never planned. I continued twirling the spoon; its gleam lost in the fading light.
“We go and eat her?” I suggested meekly, knowing it was a terrible idea. Lucy frowned and shook her head. The spoon slipped out of my hand and landed with a soft metallic thud on the ground in front of her. She reached out and picked it up. A smile grew upon her lips.
“If we ate her in an obvious fashion then the humans would come after us. We would never be free. But if we poisoned her, well that could be any old assassin.” She said quietly, her eyes shining with excitement. But I frowned, I knew nothing of poisons, even less about which would be best to use.
“The princess has a food taster; it would need to be a very slow acting poison” I replied. Lucy thought for a second before standing up. I followed suit and she kissed my cheek softly.
“I know just who to ask” she said before turning and bounding off into the forest. I stood there for a second, my mind beginning to get cloudy. What was I doing here? Was I thirsty? I gasped softly, where was my spoon?! I inhaled sharply and caught the musky scent of another wolf, Lucy, that was her name. I remembered dropping my spoon, and she picked it up! A soft growl escaped my lips as I took off after the spoon thief.
I caught up with her about an hour later, the sky had lost all light apart from the little flecks that people called stars. As soon as I saw her I felt the burden of my mind easy. She hadn’t stolen my spoon; she was just borrowing it. As I approached she held it out to me.
“Here”. She said as I took it from her. It was only then that I noticed she was standing in front of an old cottage. Solidly built this cottage seemed to have stood the test of time, a small herb garden out the front made me wonder at the occupant.
“Who lives there?” I asked curiously.
“The woman who saved me” she replied knocking on the door.
“So I shouldn’t eat her?” I asked realising I was getting hungry. The frown Lucy gave me was enough to make me look away abashed, the answer was clearly no.
A little old woman opened the door, at first I thought her human, but as I stepped forward I caught the distinct scent of a witch. I growled and pulled Lucy behind me. The old woman smiled at me amused.
“I’m not going to hurt either of you, in fact I believe we can help each other” she said stepping back and ushering us inside. I stood my ground, but Lucy stepped around me and entered the small house. I hesitated for a second, but decided I couldn’t protect Lucy from out here.
We both sat on the floor opposite the old woman. She eyed us for a second before producing a small vile from her pocket.
“This here is a sleeping draft, it is rather special in that it takes a few hours to take effect, so the princess won’t know she’s ingested it until a few hours later. While she is in a deep sleep, you kill her with a blade.” The witch said handing the bottle to Lucy.
“How did you…?” Lucy asked, the witch just smiled.
“What do you want?” I growled, knowing there would be a price. The witch continued.
“My daughter was captured by the princess and even now serves as her personal psychic. I want you to rescue her” Her anger almost palpable. It seemed reasonable, but I couldn’t help thinking of all of the problems we would have getting the poison into the princess’s food.
“The kitchen is in need of a new hand, and the stable needs a new hand. You will go there in disguise and attain these jobs, then you will have full access to the castle. This is how you will kill her.” The witch finished off as if reading my mind.
We spoke for a few more hours on how we would execute the plan before we went to sleep. Lucy and I curled up on the floor, and as I lay there watching the flames in the dwindling fire, I began conjuring images of the princess dying, strangely the one I enjoyed most had her burning, flames licking at her skin tearing the screams she so longed for, from her own throat. I fell asleep to these heart-warming images with a growing sense of foreboding, this was a bad plan.